We didn’t see it coming. And that makes it harder to stomach. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones that didn’t see it coming, though.
During the post-show Facebook Live, host Amy Brown and a panel of “Nashies” discussed the jarring Feb. 23 episode of “Nashville,” which found many of us sobbing as Deacon, Maddie and Daphne said goodbye to their wife and mother, and one of the biggest stars on the show, Rayna James. While the panelists discussed the show and what effect Rayna’s death would have on the storyline and the future of “Nashville,” other fans were making their opinions known through flying emojis and comments.
And it wasn’t good.
Even though Amy and the panel were hopeful about the show’s storyline, well over 1,000 “Nashville” fans expressed rage, disgust and shock, while another 1,000 were tearful at the show’s heartbreaking twist. Less than 400 gave it a thumbs up, and barely over 100 loved it.
On Twitter, the tone was less angry and much more mournful. Even cast members like Clare Bowen and Chris Carmack expressed overwhelming sadness over Rayna’s demise.
Charles Esten, who plays Deacon opposite of Connie Britton’s Rayna, shared his sweet thoughts and a precious photo on his Instagram page. He wrote, “I took this picture almost 5 years ago on my first day of shooting Nashville with Connie Britton. I was already a fan. Now, after all this time, she’s my friend. And I’m an even bigger fan…”
I took this picture almost 5 years ago on my first day of shooting #nashville with @conniebritton. I was already a fan. Now, after all this time, she's my friend. And I'm an even bigger fan. I'm grateful for every scene, and for every song, and I wish her nothing but the very best. ✨ #deaconandrayna
But, our favorite message came from Connie who thanked Rayna on Instagram. “Thank you Rayna James. For your magic and your dignity,” she wrote. She also thanked Callie Kouri, the show’s creater, and her character’s family, the cast and crew, the city of Nashville and, of course, the fans. “You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you,” she wrote. “You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you.”
Thank you Rayna Jaymes. For your magic and your dignity. And thank you to all the creators of Rayna Jaymes, for there were many. Callie Khouri, who gave her life. Deacon, Maddie, Daphne, who shaped her as her family. Teddy, Tandy, Lamar too. Juliette, Scarlett, Bucky and the ones who crafted her into a business woman. Along with countless other compatriots and combatants. And then of course the crew of “Nashville" who brought her to life, every crew member in every department who made Rayna live each week. And then there’s the music. T Bone, Buddy, Tim, Frankie and all the brilliant songwriters who gave Rayna a voice. There was no music, and no Rayna, without you. But finally and most importantly, the fans. You made Rayna. You supported her and loved her and gave her inspiration just as she was able to inspire you. You were the energy source, the power behind her heart and soul and life. Rayna lived for you. And, from the depths of my heart, I thank you, for her and for me. It has been an honor to be a part of that creation. And as I know she would want it, the show must, and will go on. Long live Rayna Jaymes. #RIPRayna #NashvilleCMT